Spring 2017



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Laura Halldin

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Michael Arendt

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Colleen Cody


The research question addressed in this project was how can Understanding by Design be used to create a curriculum that can be used to teach upper elementary students the basis of environmental stewardship? The motivating factor behind this project was a noticeable lack of outdoor exploration in public elementary schools, combined with limited science instruction in the classroom. Designing the curriculum using and Understanding by Design framework, the unit includes lessons on habitats, food webs, natural resources, and interdependence. Methods of teaching include hands-on and multimedia lessons, and time for free outdoors exploration. The unit culminates in a group presentation about a chosen species. The overall goal of the unit is to introduce the basics of environmental awareness to students and increase their knowledge of environmental issues. Included with this curriculum are copies of assessments, games, and handouts.

Research Methodology

Curriculum Development


Curriculum, Environmental Studies